Children celebrate national day

Helen Dullard, principal Frances Coventry, Lisa Joy, Geraldine Atkinson, Raeleen McAllister and Ken Wyatt watch Years 7 and 8 students from Hampton SHS. Picture: Matt Jelonek          d441726
Helen Dullard, principal Frances Coventry, Lisa Joy, Geraldine Atkinson, Raeleen McAllister and Ken Wyatt watch Years 7 and 8 students from Hampton SHS. Picture: Matt Jelonek         d441726

That was the message delivered by a peak advocacy group on Tuesday at a community event in Stratton for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children�s Day.

Secretariat National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) deputy chairwoman Geraldine Atkinson said under the reform, the Federal Government�s new childcare assistance package was likely to lead to the exclusion of children who needed it most.

�We need to speak up about the support needed to ensure the new childcare assistance package empowers rather than disables our children,� Ms Atkinson said.

SNAICC is among non-Government services concerned that the changes could result in higher numbers of Aboriginal children slipping through the cracks.

The Government�s childcare package will apply a �one size fits all� approach, forcing indigenous services to operate under an inflexible user-pay model, according to SNAICC.

Parents and guests gathered for a morning of dance and song on Tuesday to celebrate indigenous culture with children in the grounds of Middle Swan Primary School.

The Shire of Mundaring co-hosted the event at its Midvale hub, the Swan Children and Family Centre in conjunction with SNAICC.

Shire President Helen Dullard said it was a fantastic event for everyone involved.

�We couldn�t be more proud to be part of this day,� Cr Dullard said.

�The celebrations are a fantastic way to recognise the strengths and culture of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.�

Australia�s first indigenous Member of the House of Representatives, Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt, was among the guests.

The former primary school teacher spoke of his hopes for future generations, saying his vision was to see indigenous children grow up to become the people they want to be.

Traditional owners elders Doreen Creed and her cousin Fred Pickett opened the event with a welcome to country and shared stories of their childhood in Stratton.

Students from Guildford Grammar, Hampton Senior High in Morley and Midvale Primary schools performed dances accompanied by the didgeridoo, closing with two songs from Aboriginal artists Angela and Lily.

A community lunch featured a kangaroo sausage sizzle.